Over 219 books read and this is only my second public review. I am a voracious reader with at least 2-3 books going at one time. Most are business titles, although I sneak in some fantasy and sci-fi titles. (You must read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player 1 if you were a teenager in the late 70s who liked video games- ahmazing.) But not many books are worth the time it takes to write a review.
I’m not sure if Kindle has been classified as a controlled substance but maybe it should be. I can’t put iPad down. Actually, what I couldn’t put down the most accessible, practical business I’ve read in a long time: The Entrepreneur’s Trap by my friend, Tina Forsyth.
The Entrepreneur’s Trap:
How to Stop Working so Much, Take Back Your Life and Enjoy Life
That subtitle says it all, right? You launched your business for probably the same reason I did. To take care of your family and enjoy the life you want, not the one handed to you.
After 20 years in business, I’m finally at a place (and age, honestly) where I can earnestly begin enjoying my life. Believe you me, I’ve got a long list of cool things to do that starts with traveling my newly adopted coastline to trying culinary school. There’s things to do and need my business to support my life more fully.
Sure, I built a portable training business that allowed me to move from Boston to the absolutely fab Oakland. I also built lots of poor habits and disorganization that had me on the brink of closing shop. Burned out.
I needed for myself what I try to be for my clients- a kind companion and trusted sherpa- on my journey to a new level of success and freedom. The Entrepreneur’s Trap is the antidote to burnout for entrepreneurs who still love their work but not their business.
Never walk alone
Tina is a great person to have along on a hike. Her book is filled with personal stories that reveal her own thinking, obstacles, successes and most importantly, feelings. All her stories felt like they were my stories too because they rang that true.
It’s so important to have someone who understands the craziness that is entrepreneurship in the way you do. Yeah, your family loves you but they don’t get your business. My spouse is an entrepreneur and even HE doesn’t get what I do.
I felt supported by Tina just from her tone. She’s as goofy as I am, and that’s a compliment. You’ll enjoy getting to know Tina through the book if you don’t already know her from her YouTube channel or websites. I consider Tina to be the mother of Online Business Manager and helping the profession grow to a higher standard.
Keep your promises to you
So many of the ideas and concepts expressed in ET resonated deeply with me personally and also with my work showing others how to speak their truth. Let’s briefly touch on the ideas that help you make that transformation from what I call a technician, the person who does the work, to conscious business owner, the person who has the vision and the desire to make the work (and their life) meaningful.
Right off the bat, the book asks you to commit. Something we ask our clients to do, commit to working with me, to choices, to finishing. How often do we ask ourselves to re-commit to our businesses? Not often enough, I say. Reading this book, and doing the exercises, will allow you to commit to putting you first and keeping the promises you made when you started.
I promised myself that my work would serve others and work for me, not against me. Time for me to regroup and has clear step-by-step instructions on how to do that.
I love the part where Tina outlines her 3 reasons WHY you got into business. For me, those are unspoken promises, the bargain we make with ourselves. I’ll work so hard if I can just …. Then we work hard to serve our clients, and harder still until we’ve forgotten our promise to ourselves.
Aside from freedom, money and meaning, I also promised myself novelty, innovation and life-long learning in my life. Anyone who reads my fan page knows I’m a hardcore gadget girl. (Speaking of which, have you tried my SpeakPipe yet? Leave me a question). I’m always sharing a new tool.
However, unmet needs played havoc with my website and Facebook page because I added things that were great to know, very helpful, but not directly on point. I accidentally confused my readers trying to keep my promise. Now, I realize I can better meet those goals in my personal life than with my business.
Learn to say no
Let’s face it. You’re a pleasaholic. (Dina’s definition: someone who can’t help but say yes) Most service providers and independent workers and service professionals like helping others and feeling needed.
Yep, you like to please other people. Not a bad thing. I like that too. But when you can’t say no in your business (or your life), well, that has some pretty serious consequences. Like overworking,ruining your health, feeling at the mercy of your clients, giving away your time and money for no good reason except you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. You feel me, right?
I’m guilty for sure. After my divorce, I didn’t say no to any client or opportunity that came my way. I got so bad my doctor told me that unless I reduced my workload and stress she expected to be notified of my death by heart attack before that year’s end.* My kids were 5 and 6. I got the message. I turned my mediator skills on myself and worked out a way for me to say no without feeling guilty or wrong. You have to learn how to protect my own interests.
Inside ET you’ll learn what keeps you from saying no and ways to approach the subject. You’ll be empowered to say no working weekends, scope creep, or anything else that you don’t want or like. And when you’re ready, I’ll be here to help you find your words and your courage.
It’s all you
Starting a business is relatively easy. Learning how to run a successful, profitable business that feels like you takes a lot more effort.
I firmly believe that the reward for starting your business and serving your clients with the devotion and passion you do is that you get to run your business, your way. Reading the Entrepreneur’s Trap boosts you up so you can grab the brass ring and enjoy your life and business more. This book for anyone, newbie or veteran, who want to:
- Build the right type of business for you and your goals
- Eliminate the headaches and hassles of hiring and managing a team
- Use the 10 key systems happy and successful entrepreneurs rely on
- Structure your day so that you can get everything done and still have plenty of time off (including weekends!)
Here’s the deal!
I really believe everyone should have this book. Truly. It’ll be good for you and good for the world. Here’s where you can find out about the terrific thing Tina is doing and how to get your copy of the book. (I’m a Heifer gal myself)
You’re gonna fly through your copy. I’d LOVE to hear about your biggest takeaway from the book. Please remember to come back and tell us. In fact, I might even start a reading circle for this book. Would anyone be up for that? Leave me a note in the comments- thanks!
On a personal note, I’d like to sincerely thank Tina Forsyth re-igniting my spark. It’s gonna get hot in here.
* Note: The symptoms for heart attack in men are much better known than the symptoms for women. My doctor confided that a woman having a heart attack in the mid 90s was more likely to be misdiagnosed and die in the ER than survive. Scary thought- know the symptoms and play it safe. (Doing my best Bones voice from Star Trek- Dammit, I’m a mediator not a doctor. Get medical advice if you’re concerned)
Tags: business person, dina eisenberg, Entrepreneur's Trap, established business, freelancer, independent consultant, saying no, self-employed, speak your truth, speakuppower, startup, Tina Forsyth, women entrepreneurs